Raiders Excited by Contributions From Dion Jordan

Recent acquisition has found new life with Oakland as a pass-rush specialist, and could figure into the Raiders’ long-term plans

Oakland Raiders defensive end Dion Jordan before an AFC West game between the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In mid-November, the Raiders needed another defensive lineman who could rush the passer. With injuries taking a toll on Oakland’s front seven, the team signed veteran Dion Jordan, the former No. 3 overall pick of the NFL draft in 2013.

Jordan had never fulfilled his potential in Miami and Seattle, and was suspended by the NFL for the first 10 games of this season for his use of Adderall.

In four games with the Raiders, Jordan is making the most of his new opportunity to revive his pro career. He has three tackles, a sack and a pass deflection that led to a teammate’s interception. He is being employed in passing situations, often from the interior, taking the field on about a third of defensive snaps.

Since he joined the Raiders, he’s impressed coaches and teammates by being in excellent shape and with his effort. After signing with Oakland, Jordan says he is “living my best life” and no longer has problems with alcohol and other substances. He’s healthy and motivated.

Said defensive coordinator Paul Guenther: “He can rush the passer. He can move inside, outside. The more he learns what we’re doing here, he’s going to be a really big part of our future if he continues on this level.”

Jordan came into the league at about 240 pounds on his 6-foot-6 frame, but now weighs about 280.

As BD Williams of SB Nation wrote this week after reviewing film of Jordan’s recent play, Jordan stands out on the film for his athletic ability, speed and hustle.

Jordan still has three more games to cement his standing with the Raiders leadership, which will work this offseason to improve the roster for 2020. But based on what he’s done so far, he’s made a positive impression.

Wrote Williams: “Look for the Raiders to keep Jordan on the roster for their move to Vegas. … If Jordan can continue to turn the corner on his sobriety (like Darren Waller), he has a shot of being a major contributor on this defense.”

The 6-7 Raiders will play their final home game in Oakland Sunday, when they host the 4-9 Jacksonville Jaguars. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m.

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